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Foldable MacBook specs: Compact size, massive screen

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When it rains, it pours when it comes to rumors about the foldable M5 MacBook device that Apple is working on. A report on Thursday from Ming-Chi Kuo gave us a potential launch window for the tablet/laptop contraption and a set of initial specs.

That was hot on the heels of reports saying that Samsung might reduce the visibility of the crease on upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 6 models, which I saw as a sign that the industry is about to help Apple deliver the foldable display experience it’s undoubtedly aiming for.

Kuo’s report did note that Apple wants a crease-free foldable panel, with LG being the potential exclusive manufacturing partner for those displays.

Display expert Ross Young, known for his accurate Apple-related predictions, chimed in with more screen specs details about the foldable M5 MacBook. According to his information, Apple has already chosen the screen size of the foldable tablet/laptop. If the information is accurate, the device would have the same footprint as a 13-inch MacBook Air or Pro, and I think that would make it the perfect size for it.

Young said on X (via 9to5Mac) that Apple decided to go with a smaller foldable screen size than initially expected. Early rumors said that Apple eyed a 20.25-inch foldable panel for the MacBook/iPad contraption, a figure that Kuo also mentioned.

Young learned that Apple opted for a smaller 18.76-inch foldable screen instead. How does that translate to a device about as big as a 13-inch MacBook? Well, Kuo offered the smaller display in his prediction and explained what the purported foldable display screen sizes would translate to:

LGD is the exclusive panel supplier. In addition to the 20.25″ option, Apple is also considering using an 18.8″ panel instead. The difference between these two sizes is their folded form factor, corresponding to the design of 14–15″ and 13–14″ laptops, respectively.

Therefore, if Apple chose the 18.76-inch screen, the resulting foldable M5 MacBook would be about as big as a 13-inch MacBook. That’s the most popular size for MacBooks, considering the 13-inch MacBook Air is the best-selling MacBook ever.

The MacBook Pro also came in a 13-inch version until Apple replaced it with a 14-inch variant. Advances in display tech, like the reduction of bezels, would explain a 13-inch to 14-inch screen size for a foldable MacBook.

Why I think 13-inch is the perfect size

I told you recently I prefer the 11-inch iPad Pro over the 13-inch version because size matters. I meant the actual weight of the tablet, as it would be an extra addition to my backpack when traveling. As I age, I’m more deliberate about what I carry. The same reasoning applies to MacBooks.

The 13-inch MacBook is Apple’s lightest laptop, weighing 2.7 pounds (1.24 kg). The 15-inch MacBook Air is about as heavy as the 14-inch MacBook Pro: 3.3 pounds (1.51 kg) vs. 3.4 pounds (1.55 kg). The 15-inch Air has a larger screen.

The size of the Mac display is also important to me. I’d want the largest possible screen inside the lightest package. The 18.76-inch foldable M5 MacBook might offer that. A foldable MacBook will change the way you use laptops.

MacBook Pro with M3 Max
14-inch M3 Max MacBook Pro On a Table. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Say you want a traditional notebook that you’d use in your lap. In this case, the foldable MacBook is essentially a 13-inch MacBook Air. The bottom half of the screen becomes a virtual keyboard. Or you’ll place some sort of Magic-branded physical keyboard on top of it.

But if you’re sitting at a desk, you’d completely unfold the screen to take advantage of that 18.75-inch display. The Magic keyboard would connect via Bluetooth to the laptop. In either case, the foldable MacBook would also support touch input, a feature I’ve dreamed of for years.

That Magic keyboard would surely come as an extra. It’ll cost more than the supposedly expensive foldable M5 MacBook. And it’ll weigh more. But, overall, the foldable MacBook could still be a light computer to carry around.

That said, Apple has plenty of time to change its mind. If Kuo’s prediction is accurate, the foldable MacBook won’t hit stores before 2026.



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